Reproductive Rights: Conservative Judaism's View

With Rabbi Iscah Waldman

Reproductive Rights: Conservative Judaism

The question seems to be simple. When does the joining of egg and sperm become a person? When does that zygote become a legal human being, with individual rights, separate from the mother?

We know how that question has been answered in Alabama and other states seeking to challenge Roe v Wade by passing “Personhood” and “Life at Conception” Acts. But, do we know the Biblical and Rabbinic sources--and the modern responsa--that ground the Conservative movement’s understanding of life?

What does our own tradition say, and where might the nuances of that reasoning place us on the” Right to Life” vs “Right to Choose” continuum? And how does the Conservative movement guide us as citizens and Jews concerned with women’s health?

Come and learn from a scholar who has deeply considered these complex questions.

Rabbi Iscah Waldman, Department Chair of Judaic Studies and Teacher of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at Golda Och Academy, has been a Jewish educator for more than 20 years. Rabbi Waldman recently finished her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU’s Steinhardt School. She sits on the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards, the lawmaking body of the Conservative movement. The RA used this committee’s work to inform their May 16, 2019 statement on Reproductive Freedom.